I spent most of last year pregnant, and like many women, I tried to be as ready as possible and was still surprised by my body. Luckily, I was surrounded by experienced mothers and medical professionals, but I didn’t pester them for all maladies – I prefer to learn things on my own than to text four nurses in the middle of the night asking questions.
So while I researched something new every day, I was still surprised by my body and how it handled being pregnant. One of my favorite things to seek were (surprise!) blogs that shared experiences and recommended products. And here I am now with my own experiences; adding my two cents to the internet’s vast collection of pregnancy-related blog posts.
Be advised that I am neither a medical professional, nor an experienced mother. I am just here to share what I wish I had known about the first trimester – enjoy!
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What I Wish I Knew #1 – Overnight Curves
Thanks to pop culture I thought I could wear my same clothes until the second trimester…that was a lie (for me). Normally I am a solid size four, but immediately after those first positive pregnancy tests my body changed quickly to be a size six on top and an eight on the bottom. My belly didn’t start rounding until week 11 (photographed above), but I had outgrown most of my pants by week six. It seemed unreal to need larger pants so soon, but I could not argue with my changing shape.
Sales at Old Navy helped me identify my new sizes, and thrift stores helped me discover new brands. Amazon has a lot of yoga waistbands, and smocked waist dresses help hide the bloat. I started thrifting maternity clothes around week 10. Several of my favorite maternity blouses came from ThredUP. Forgiving dresses were my key to my comfort (plus useful again postpartum), and highly recommended.
What I Wish I Knew #2 – Invisible Nausea
I use the term “Invisible Nausea” to refer to those moments when you’re on the edge of nausea, but not feeling green…yet. This state prompts a lot of lie downs because you feel like crap and the laundry can wait. Crystallized ginger and crackers helped me here, at least while I could stand it. What really curbed the invisible nausea for me was taking a B6 supplement -a 25mg chewable- each night with a generic Benadryl before bed. Sure, it churned my tum right away but was worth it to feel pretty good the next day. During the day I was mostly nauseated after eating, so I used candies with 10mg B6 to help me feel normal after meals.
The invisible nausea faded around week nine and the B6 kept my energy up, so I kept taking the supplement at night. Please talk to your doctor about supplements, and know that I am not your doctor!
What I Wish I Knew #3 – Food Aversions
Pop culture speaks more about crazy pregnancy cravings than aversions, so I was a little surprised but not entirely. What I did not expect was how my sense of taste would change. I was ravenous early on; around weeks four through six, and loved eating everything I could get my hands on. But one day I suddenly hated coffee, gagged at the thought of tea, and wanted only bland foods. Normally I am the opposite! I love coffee, drink tea by the gallon, and add hot sauce to everything. So what do you eat when so many foods are unappealing? Anything! This trimester is just Survival Mode. Eat what you can when you can, and take your vitamins. Don’t worry about weight gain or loss.
I lived primarily on salads and raisin bran. I had very little appetite; however I finished the first trimester with a five pound gain. Gaining weight at all was a real surprise for me because I felt like I was barely eating, but it’s just another example of every pregnancy being different and bodies doing what they need to do.
What I Accidentally got Right #1 – Transdermal Magnesium
A few months before getting pregnant I accidentally ordered a bottle of transdermal magnesium – best. mistake. ever. Why? Because I had it on-hand when I needed it. When the invisible nausea started, I began spraying my torso with magnesium – about five pumps before bedtime. It made me feel better right away and I loved it. It could be used more often, but I just used it at night after taking my nightly B6 & diphenhydramine.
What I Accidentally got Right #2 – Nutritious Food
My food aversions lead me to an accidental salad diet, which probably packed more useable nutrition than my liquid prenatal vitamins. While each salad was a listeria gamble, each was also a well-rounded-meal vehicle. Instead of making them at home, I visited grocery store salad bars for the topping variety. A bed of mixed greens, sans iceberg lettuce, heavy on the spinach started each bowl. Then two bites of each bean, vegetable, and most fruits. Always topped with an ounce or so of chopped unsalted nuts or seeds, but no dressing. Why skip the dressing? Because these salads are sold by weight and I prefer my homemade dressing – so I save money by dressing the salad at home. My daily bowls of raw vitamins made me feel great, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to eat the rainbow.
Be aware that Lady Jupiter is not morphing into a “mommy blog.” I still have so many other things to write about that I refuse to narrow my scope just because one descriptor applies.
This is part of my “What I Wish I Knew About The __ Trimester” series.
Need a different trimester? Here you go!
- First Trimester (weeks 1-13)
- Second Trimester (weeks 14-27)
- Third Trimester (weeks 28-40)
- Fourth Trimester (first three months postpartum)
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